Cancer Registry Survival Data for Metrics of Continuous Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance

Cancer Registry Survival Data for Metrics of Continuous Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance

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Author Info

Corresponding Author
Robert O. Dillman
Hoag Cancer Institute, Newport Beach, California


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to illustrate how cancer registry data can be used to address questions of quality assurance and continuous quality improvement, and to generate contemporary cohorts of patients for retrospective studies. The history and purpose of hospital cancer registries is reviewed and examples of use of registry data provided. Methods: Cancer Registry information, manuals, and definitions were reviewed. The 25-year experience of the lead author in collaborating with registrars and using the cancer registry of a large community hospital in southern California is described. The strengths and weaknesses of such data are discussed. Examples of completed studies are provided to illustrate how such data was organized, analyzed, and presented to physicians and administrators, and for peer reviewed publications. Results: The strengths of such data are the large numbers of patients, validity of date of diagnosis, histologic diagnosis, general stage, and date of death. The major limitations of the data are due to incomplete reporting of specific treatment regimens, especially after the initial 4-month period of management. The quality assurance and quality improvement studies generated proved to be of great interest to local physicians and administrators. Several such studies were used in peer-reviewed publications. The interest and job satisfaction of registrars, and data quality all improved when registry data was being used and reported locally rather than merely being submitted to a national data repository. Conclusion: In the absence of comprehensive integrated medical care data bases, high-quality cancer registries can be used to address local issues related to quality improvement and quality assurance and provide data for peer-reviewed publications.

Article Info

Article Type
Research Article
Publication history
Received: Mon 30, Dec 2019
Accepted: Wed 22, Jan 2020
Published: Mon 27, Jan 2020
© 2023 Robert O. Dillman. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Hosting by Science Repository.
DOI: 10.31487/j.COR.2020.01.04